2015 Record: 5-7
2016 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 5.5*
2016 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Under'
Look, I've had a fun time laughing at Riffin McNeill over the last several years as one of the most clueless head coaches in college football. Seriously; most of the time the guy looked like he was asleep in the passenger seat on his way home from Ruby Tuesday's. But even I was surprised that East Carolina pulled the trigger and fired him this offseason. I can't say that I think it was a poor move by ECU brass. But even I, a staunch detractor, has to admit that the Pirates have been a pretty feisty team the last four seasons under McNeill's guidance.
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East Carolina faced a major rebuilding job last season after losing two all-time program greats in quarterback Shane Carden and receiver Justin Hardy. Things were made even worse when last year's starting quarterback, Kurt Benkert, was lost for the season in August. ECU still won five games, was really competitive with teams like Florida and BYU, and nearly snuck into a bowl game. But Ruffin got the axe, and rookie head man Scottie Montgomery, erstwhile of Duke, takes over.
It's really tough to know what to expect from East Carolina this year. This Pirates team has been a thorn in the side of Big 5 opponents for the last decade and has appeared in a bowl game in eight of the last 10 seasons. But Montgomery was an odd hire, this team doesn't have a ton of experience back, and they are starting their rebuild at a time when most AAC teams are trending upward.
Three straight regional games in September - versus N.C. State, at South Carolina and at Virginia Tech - are really going to give us a taste of what Montgomery has in store for this season. But I'll be really surprised if the Pirates manage to top last season's five-win mark.
2016 East Carolina Pirates Schedule
DATE OPPONENT TIME (ET) Location
Sat, Sep 3rd, 2016 Western_Carolina 06:00 PM Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
Sat, Sep 10th, 2016 NC State 12:00 PM Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
Sat, Sep 17th, 2016 at South_Carolina 04:00 PM Williams-Brice Stadium
Sat, Sep 24th, 2016 at Virginia_Tech 12:00 PM Lane Stadium/Worsham Field
Sat, Oct 1st, 2016 Central_Florida 12:00 PM Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
Sat, Oct 8th, 2016 at South_Florida 12:00 PM Raymond James Stadium
Thu, Oct 13th, 2016 Navy 07:30 PM Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
Sat, Oct 22nd, 2016 at Cincinnati 12:00 PM Nippert Stadium
Sat, Oct 29th, 2016 Connecticut 12:00 PM Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
Sat, Nov 5th, 2016 at Tulsa 01:00 PM Skelly Field
Sat, Nov 12th, 2016 Smu 12:00 PM Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
Sat, Nov 26th, 2016 at Temple 12:00 PM Lincoln Financial Field
All Times EST
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